Grading Trump

Bill Gates Paul grades Trump’s presidency, giving him an abysmal 1.5 grade point average:

The video got 70 down-votes and 300 up-votes (20% down-votes), so evidently a lot of viewers took issue with Gates’ assessment of Trump’s presidency. Gates makes some good points, and I overall agree, but his grading metric/rubric is faulty, and I think he is being too hard on Trump.

The president generally has much more control over foreign policy than domestic policy, and Republican presidents typically have even less control than Democratic presidents in regard to domestic policy, even with a House majority (compare all the things Obama got done in his first term despite losing the House in 2010 and all the legislation he passed, compared to Trump, who only got tax cuts through despite having the House in his favor, which were a shoo-in anyway). This means that we should grade Trump not on what we wanted, but rather what was feasible based on the options Trump availed himself of. Ramz graded Trump based on what he wanted, so, of course, Trump fell short of such improbable goals (such as mass deportations or building a wall spanning the entirety of the Southern border).

Second, Ramz gives Trump Fs and Ds on healthcare, student loan debt, immigration, and for his mishandling of domestic unrest (such as BLM protests) and his mishandling of Covid. Averaged together, this why Ramz gave Trump such a low final grade. But does anyone else see the obvious flaw in averaging all of these items together? Because Trump cannot possibly do all of these things without compromising on at least some of the items. For Trump to devote all his energy to immigration would mean having to comprise or neglect Covid, student loan debt, and or healthcare. These cannot possibly all be mutually inclusive.

Third, how or why is Trump supposed to reform healthcare and student loan debt, when he never even campaigned on those issues. Why would Ramz even bother to include them in his report card? Do Trump voters want a massive bailout or cancellation of student loan debt? I would think not. Sorry Ramz, but you are way off here.

I agree with Ramz that Trump deserves high marks for the economy and foreign policy. But Ramz giving Trump a ‘D’ for Covid, again, betrays reason and logic. Ramz cannot even make up his mind: did Trump do a good job or not, so why even give Trump a grade if he cannot make an assessment either way. I do not think it matters what Trump did, as individual states, mayors, governors, and local governments had considerable discretion in deciding what what sort of policy to implement. Maybe one can argue that Trump underestimated the potential severity of Covid, but so did almost everyone else, too. In April-May 2020 the general consensus by experts and policy makers was this would be under control by early 2021, yet cases keep rising, not just in the US but all over the world. Even countries such as Germany, Italy , Spain, and France which in mid-2020 were praised by the media for their efforts to contain Covid, have now seen massive second and third waves, so it’s not like Trump’s handling of Covid was exceptionally poor compared to the leadership of other countries.

It is disappointing that Trump was unable to do more about tech censorship and how at times he seemed so ineffectual despite being so prolific on Twitter, yet there was not much he could do anyway even if he wanted to. My expectations were low to begin with, and even those were not met in regard to many things. It is not like he can hold Jack Dorsey over a balcony and demand he reinstate Roger Stone’s Twitter account. Whether it’s immigration , tech censorship, the encroaching power of ‘big government,’ or the erasure of individual rights such as due to Covid restrictions, things never get better; they can only get worse, but what can be changed is your mindset and your framing of the problem. We know that big tech is going to keep getting bigger and more powerful for decades to come, so with that information in mind, how does one plan accordingly. Executive orders are easily overturned by judges, and do not do much. Lawsuits for alleged anti-trust violations take too long and these massive tech companies will not go down easily (Microsoft put up a hell of a fight in 1998, and this was when it was much smaller; Google, Facebook, and Amazon are way more powerful than Microsoft ever was back then).